Thursday, May 22, 2014

If I Had $1,000,000

The school year is winding down. Every student from 3rd grade up is suffering through the torture of standardized testing. I feel like I've got a pretty good rant inside of me on the subject of the Standards of Learning, but I'll hold off on that one for now. But trust me, it's there.

But just because things are winding down doesn't mean school is completely over. Sure, a lot of down time is spent watching movies and playing outside or preparing for the annual Faculty/Staff vs. 7th Grade softball game. Despite all that fun, there is still work to be done.

This week, the 5th graders have been experimenting with the real world a bit. It began a couple days ago when they were exposed to an ancient form of entertainment known as The Cosby Show. Do you remember that episode where Theo thought he had it all figured out? He told the Huxtable family that, once he turned 18, he would immediately find work as a model and live it up. He figured he would have it made. So what did Dr. Huxtable do? He gave Theo a taste of the real world. Providing him with $2,000 in (fake) seed money, Theo was tasked with finding a place to live, furnishing that place, finding a job, obtaining references and getting the utilities turned on. All the things that adults are expected to do.

And so, the kids were given an imaginary million dollars. Because, apparently, inflation. With that, they had to buy a home, furnish their home, get a car... pretty much get all the things that they think they need to get by in the real world. They're finding all these things through newspaper ads and the internet.

I've had a difficult time understanding the choices that some of these kids are making with their money. One girl decided she would buy a home for $500,000. Kid, do you realize that's half your money? That's just too much house for you. Will you be able to appropriately furnish a house of that size with the money you have left? Can you get a car?

These kids are clearly not thinking long term with their million. I'm not saying they need to think about investing the whole thing. Obviously they need to get certain things to survive. But the necessity for cash doesn't go away once you have the necessities.

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